Director-general of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Dr Garba Abari has said that constructive dialogue is essential for the growth and development of any nation.
Dr Abari, who stated this while addressing journalist during a Festival of Big Ideas and Innovation (FOBIIN) on the theme: ‘The History of Violence in Nigeria’, organised by NOA in collaboration with Peace Building Development Consult (PBDC), yesterday in Abuja.
He explained that the agency’s efforts to stem various forms of violence is finding lasting solution to address and tackle violence in Nigeria.
Speaking on the history of security agencies in Nigeria and strategies to develop a new security architecture for Nigeria, the head of Department, Military History and War Studies, Nigerian Defence Academy, Prof Chukwuma Osakwe, said that violence have affected the peace and development of the country.
He said, “Security remains the greatest challenge in Nigeria as the state and its citizens consistently face diverse security challenges ranging from rising youth restiveness, militancy, herders and farmers clashes, terrorism and insurgency, kidnapping, banditry and among others”.
The NOA boss further said, “We live in an idea driven world and some of the greatest nations on earth have realised the need for building economic models around ideas and innovation are driving global economics.
“It is more important for us as a country today more than ever before to keep creating space for interrogating ideas and getting to grips with a rapidly changing world. Constructive dialogue is essential for the growth and development of any nation.
“We must create platforms for people fo raise difficult questions so as to create a vibrant and inclusive public sphere. It’s by so doing that we can change minds through robust debates and get each other to embrace superior opinions,” he said.
He reassure Nigerians that the agency will continue to expand the space for citizens engagement so that they can tackle the difficult questions on the dialogue table.
Adding that the objectives of the festival of ideas include. Stimulation of citizens minds with inspiring programmes of discussions and to promote debate and discussions about the key issues of our time.
By ERNEST NZOR,